Olympic champion Alexander Dyachenko: Altai base is not inferior to the best venues in Europe and the world KEY START The other day it became finally known that the World Cup stage in canoe sprint, which will be 12 Olympic licenses were drawn for participation in the Tokyo Olympics, will be held May 20-23, 2021 in the capital of the Altai Territory – Barnaul. In the entire history of rowing in Russia, this is perhaps the most status international competition in this sport. Previously, in our country seven times were held competitions in rowing and canoeing of the highest world level. In 1969, the European Championship was held in Moscow, but only representatives of the Old World participated in it, like at the European Championship 2016. In 1980, the summer Olympic Games were held in the capital of the USSR, which, as you know, because of the boycott of the leading Western countries, the strongest rowers and canoeists of the world could not participate. At the I and III Games of Goodwill held in 1986 in Moscow and in 1994 in St. Petersburg, due to the status of the competition, all world champions also did not come. The 3rd stage of the World Cup and the 2014 World Canoe Rowing Championships held in Moscow in 2012 in Moscow were not included in the calendar of the International Olympic Committee. And only now it will be possible to rightly say that all the strongest rowers will come to Russia! It is noteworthy that this time athletes of the highest level will be received not in the Russian capitals, but in Siberia – in the Altai Territory. For the first time, a sports base has been created here for international competitions in kayaking and canoeing, not inferior to, but in some ways even superior to the best rowing canals in the country. Several national federations fought for the right to host these competitions. At a time when Russia, as they say, is in the “ring of fronts”, when the World Anti-Doping Committee (WADA) and the leaders of many world sports federations are trying to push our country not only from hosting international top-level competitions, but are also doing their best to not to allow Russian athletes to participate in them, few believed that Altai would be able to win the hard ICF tender. But the incredible happened! At the congress in Beijing, the best bid was recognized by the Russian side. “IN BARNAUL CHARACTER CONDITIONS” Altai Territory, having held the Champions Cup in Barnaul in 2018 with the participation of leading world athletes from 24 countries, has proved that it is quite capable of holding the highest level competitions. According to the president of the All-Russian Federation of Kayaking and Canoeing (WFGBK) Evgeny Arkhipov, lately they have done a lot in the region to develop this sport. Rowers, Olympic champions Maxim Opalev and Alexander Dyachenko called Barnaul an ideal place for competitions, especially taking into account the preparation to Tokyo. And Vyacheslav Fetisov and Alexander Karelin – the people on whom the state policy in the field of sports depends in many respects – are sure that for the Altai Territory and Siberia as a whole, the rowing World Cup will be no less vivid and symbolic event than for Russia – the Sochi Olympics and the World Cup. “I have something to compare with, and I can confidently say that our Altai base is now not inferior in level to the best venues in Europe and the world,” says Alexander Dyachenko, London 2012 gold winner, two-time world champion , champion of Europe. – The canal has a unique location in relation to the wind rose: it is protected by high banks. There will never be a big side wave. They also made a bypass channel, it is important that the athletes do not interfere with each other. Rowers who go to the start or warm up, they have a separate water area … In addition, it is important to take into account the geographical position of Barnaul: it and Tokyo are separated by only two time zones. For athletes, in preparation for the Olympics, these are very good conditions. INSTEAD OF DENMARK CAPITAL – Altai Krai In 2018, rowing canal in Barnaul was successfully tested at the Champions Cup by athletes from 24 countries of the world According to the 2008 Olympic champion Maxim Opalev, the way the authorities of the Altai Territory reacted to the preparation of this most important competition deserves the highest praise. Being vice-president of the All-Russian Federation of kayaking and canoeing, Opalev often travels to the regions, is engaged in the development of the infrastructure of this sport, the development of youth sports schools. A 17-time European champion and a 13-time world champion visited Altai quite recently, in December last year. “It is very symbolic and very important that such international competitions will be held in the Altai Territory, Barnaul,” Opalev said. – There will be played 12 sets of licenses for participation in the Olympic Games in Tokyo. In the entire history of kayaking and canoeing in Russia, these are the most prestigious competitions, all the strongest athletes in the world will come to them. Copenhagen, among other candidate cities, fought for the right to host the competitions that Barnaul won. In Denmark, this year marks the anniversary – the 100th anniversary of kayaking and canoeing, and of course, they wanted to pick up this very “licensed” Olympic qualifying regatta. But, apparently, with their attitude, their attitude, their hospitality and approach, the Altai Territory and the city of Barnaul tipped the scales to their side. “The channel where the World Cup stage will take place is located in a fantastically beautiful place, very organically integrated into nature,” says Vyacheslav Fetisov, two-time Olympic champion, first deputy chairman of the Committee on Physical Culture, Sports,
Tourism and Youth Affairs of the State Duma. – Of course, for Altai and the whole of Siberia this will be a big event, and I have no doubt that athletes and fans will be pleasantly surprised by Siberian hospitality, they will remember this event for life. After all, Siberia is still in the view of many people outside of Russia – this is such a cold, scary place. And it is very important that by such competitions we help to open the regions of our country to the world. State Duma deputy, three-time Olympic champion Alexander Karelin, notes that holding the “licensed” World Cup in Barnaul is a worthy response from Russia to the position of WADA and the IOC in relation to our country. “I think that, holding tournaments of world, continental scale, not only in Moscow and St. Petersburg, but also in the regions, we can change this tendentious attitude to our system of sports training, attempts to drag us into doping scandals, and persecution, ”said the legendary wrestler. – What are they prompting us to? So that we close, take offense at everyone, withdraw our athletes, our emissaries from international sports institutes … But we, on the contrary, show how well we can conduct and organize competitions, and confirm our reputation as hospitable people! Moreover, for all the difficulties, and in the event of a pandemic, we do not refuse claims to hold such large-scale and responsible competitions, such as, for example, the World Cup in rowing. “It is important to note here,” Karelin continues, “how interested, the head of the subject of the federation, Viktor Petrovich, is open for preparatory activities (Tomenko, governor of the Altai Territory – Ed. ). We are talking with you about the external circuit, about external manifestations and arguments. But it’s still very important that fans appear inside, so that the guys who haven’t decided yet, see the beauty of this academic sport and come and sign up for the section. And the more selection, the more chances to win. By intensifying global competition, we will make planetary competitions much more spectacular. In general, one by one. Therefore, from the point of view of even sports science, this is a very correct, very important experience for everyone, not only for Russia.